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Grain Free Kibble Options for Fighting Dog Cancer

If you’ve just learned that your dog has cancer, one of the first things you need to do is omit grains and starches from her diet.

Dr. Demian Dressler, author of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, explains:

“Corn or wheat is often the first ingredient found in commercial dog food. And even those owners who feed their dogs homemade food will often include carbohydrate-rich potatoes and carrots in their meals. Those foods almost instantly turn into simple sugars, making cancer cells happy and well-fed. . . That’s why, in general, I say to avoid carbohydrates and sugars.”

High protein, no-grain, no-starch diets are strongly encouraged for dogs battling cancer. For dogs who can’t tolerate a high-protein kibble, there are now starch-free foods available as an alternative. You can learn more cancer diet tips in Dr. Dressler’s latest free e-book.

Jerry’s cancer diet included Evo, a grain-free, high protein kibble made by Natura Pet. Natura has always been a small reputable company, but many pawrents are concerned over Evo’s recent sale to Proctor and Gamble, and are looking for other cancer diet dog food options. Here are two more for you:

Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food

Wellness’ grain-free kibble met the Dog Food Advisor’s stringent criteria and received five stars in a recent review. The ingredients are:

“Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potato, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins & Minerals, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Products, Rosemary Extract.”

As usual, Dog Food Advisor Sagman gave CORE a comprehensive review (and addressed the two controversial ingredients, tomato pomace and canola oil). In a nutshell, here’s how he feels about CORE:

“High protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs… when compared to a typical dry dog food. With no sign of any plant-based protein concentrates, this is the profile of a kibble containing a substantial amount of meat.

Wellness Core Dry Dog Food is primarily a grain-free kibble using a generous amount of named poultry or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand five stars. Enthusiastically recommended.”

Despite the fact that Wellness is now being sold at big-box retail outlets, as of today it has never been on the FDA Dog Food Recall List, which is a great sign.

Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray (who does not have cancer) has been doing really well on CORE, which he eats along with a home cooked diet. When our local pet supply store ran out, an employee enthusiastically recommended Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural.

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural (Dry)

This high protein, grain free kibble has slightly more protein than Wellness CORE does.  The ingredients are:

“Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Peas, Spinach, Garlic, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Taurine, Cottage Cheese, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, Beta-Carotene, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Oxide, Magnesium Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Carnitine, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Ferrous Sulfate, Biotin, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Manganese Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Products.”

Again, Dog Food Advisor addressed the two controversial ingredients of garlic and and tomato pomace, and rated Earthborn Holistic with five stars, while concluding:

“Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is primarily a meat-based kibble using a generous amount of poultry and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand a commendable five stars.

For those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural at least begins to approach this noble goal. And it makes an outstanding choice.”

So far, Wyatt has been doing great on Primitive Natural despite his sensitive German Shepherd belly. Although he doesn’t necessarily need a high protein, low carb kibble, we did notice that once we switched him to a high-protein diet, his fur improved and he put on badly needed weight.

Now, his problem is that he likes Primitive Natural so much, it’ll be a challenge stabilizing his weight!

If you try either of these, please let us know how you like them in the comments field below.

Please remember, the content contained in the Tripawds Nutrition blog and anywhere at is not meant to replace sound advice by your veterinary professional. Always consult with you doctor about diet and nutrition prior to making any changes.

6 thoughts on “Grain Free Kibble Options for Fighting Dog Cancer”

  1. I don’t feed kibble as a main meal but do use Wellness Core for training treats 🙂 My girls approve of it…that’s the only comments I can give! 😉

    Never heard of the Earthborn one…I’ll look for it…

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

  2. Fortis has been on the Wellness Core since his diagnosis back in January. No problems with the transition and Fortis seems to love it. I feel that keeping his weight under control has been simplified by the use of the grain free diet. I have been very satisfied with the Wellness Core as an alternative to raw.

  3. Wyatt transitioned to CORE very well too. He’s also doing great on Earthborn, I’m thinking they’re pretty much interchangeable, and both get five star reviews on Dog Food


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